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Building a Brand | Laying the Foundation

Feb 4, 2019

I often get asked how this all started and honestly, it is a LONG story! Now that we’re two years in, it feels like a good time to look back on how we got here, the WHY behind my business, and where I hope to go from here. I hope that this is an entertaining read!

While Amanda Wose Photography has only been in existence since January 2017, it feels like my whole life has been leading towards where I am now. As a little girl I dreamed of being a wedding planner, hosting elaborate affairs for our Ken and Barbie dolls. I don’t think I ever seriously considered it as a potential career or even a job, though. It honestly seemed like a fantasy world to me!

Then came college, where I worked as a wedding & event coordinator at the University of Maryland Chapel for 2-3 years. I LOVED this job. I’d get to work a wedding once or twice a month, participate in planning meetings with clients, and got a taste for the business / contractual side of the wedding industry. Before a ceremony, leading up to those massive wooden doors opening, I’d often find myself alone with the bride in the vestibule. It was in these moments that I realized what I truly loved: to be a source of calm and encouragement for that bride. It wasn’t really my job, honestly. I could’ve sat in the chapel office the entire time and still been paid just the same. But I felt called to be in that space, and I know from the grateful smiles I’d receive that it was much needed.

After graduation in 2010, I headed home to southern Maryland and joined the corporate world. I had a windowless cubicle, wore a lot of black, and rarely saw the sun in the winter. I was good at my job and thankful for a career, but there was no passion there. At this time, I still thought anything other than the corporate ladder was a fantasy, a pipe dream. I feel the need to say here: I am SO thankful for my previous careers. I made long-lasting friendships and learned so much about the military world and myself. I was beginning to realize that if I could learn this stuff, I could probably learn anything.

Christmas 2012, Adam and I got engaged and began planning our wedding! This threw me back into the wedding world once again, and I loved every minute. I wanted an “upscale nautical” vibe as a nod to our roots in southern Maryland, with a navy, turquoise, and gold color palette. Quickly I realized it was surprisingly hard to find what I had in mind! My mom suggested hand making some decor pieces, so we got to work. Planning put me in close contact with people in the wedding industry, and I realized – people really can do this for a living! The gears were turning and I knew I wanted to tiptoe into a creative career, but how?

The next thing I knew, friends and family were asking me to create decor for them too, and in 2013 my Etsy shop was born! I was still working at my corporate job of course, but the shop gave me a creative outlet and kept me busy on nights and weekends. You can’t sell products without solid imagery, so it was here that I learned the basics of photography, light, and composition. Orders were coming in from all over the world, and in fact, sometimes it would get so busy that I’d have to temporarily close the shop just to catch up on everything! I loved the success of the shop and had so much fun designing, but as an online business, the personal connection with my clients was missing. 

The years 2014-2016 were a blur. We became parents to two little girls, and I began to grow increasingly frustrated with my seemingly successful career and the struggles of balancing work and motherhood. I’d cry most mornings on the way to the office, resenting anything that kept me away from my babies. At Adam’s insistence I sought treatment for postpartum anxiety which did help a little, but there was still something nagging at me. I needed to create something beautiful and to bring joy. On a whim in the fall of 2016, I bought a used entry-level Nikon and set out to do just that.

Check back soon for the next installment of AWP’s story! 

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